And here’s one last fisking of that poorly reasoned NYT op-ed about player compensation. It’s a pretty brutal takedown. An example:
The 30 largest universities in the country each routinely generate annual revenues exceeding $100 million from sports, but according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, most of those revenues are spent covering operating expenses for the school’s athletic programs and paying tuition for their student-athletes. The majority of Division I colleges in the N.C.A.A. operate at a loss. In fact, among the roughly 350 athletic departments in the N.C.A.A.’s Division I, only about 24 schools have generated more revenue than expenses in recent years. The nation’s top five conferences made over $6 billion in 2015, billions more than all other schools combined, according to an ESPN analysis of N.C.A.A. data.
The NCAA always wants to look at athletic department budgets, instead of looking at the two revenue sports, football and men’s basketball, and it always wants to talk about Division I rather than the still largely segregated P5, which is where the real money is, and even then, only in these two sports, which are dominated by black players, who largely do not graduate according to publicly available information.
For instance, looking at the so-called national championship last month, here are the numbers for Clemson vs. Alabama: Black male enrollment, 3.28% vs. 3.54%, black football grant-in-aid, 65.88% vs. 75.29%, adjusted revenue per FB GiA, $781,131.66 vs. $1,567,436.06, black FB federal graduation rate, 57% vs. 36%, white FB FGR, 83% vs. 100%.
Moreover, even if most D-I athletic departments operate in the red, why does that matter, when every undergraduate department other than athletics always runs in the red, since they don’t generate individual revenue? [Emphasis added.]
The only reason it matters is because it’s a convenient way for schools to frame the debate. The irony is that the schools present their athletic departments as non-profit in nature.
One other tell about the college market:
“Distort the economics of college sports?” These economics are already distorted, where the zero labor rate allows the Power Five Conference football and men’s basketball coaches to be paid in excess of their “professional” counter-parts, because professional teams have to pay the labor. [Emphasis added.]
That’s probably true of ADs versus pro GMs, as well, not to mention the facilities arms race. Again, that’s not where the NCAA prefers to have the debate, because making it about student-athletes in non-revenue producing sports is a much more wholesome, “do it for the kids” discussion.
I keep saying it, but it comes off better to assert the position that one’s personal preference is not to pay student-athletes and stop talking, because there is no logical underpinning to the economics.